In a rare moment of bipartisan unity, Republican Gov.
Pat McCrory and Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein announced Wednesday that they would take legal action to stop the Southern Auto auction from taking place in the state.
The announcement came on the same day that the two state legislatures are scheduled to take up gun control legislation, which will likely include measures to ban assault weapons.
McCrury and Stein are expected to announce their legislation Thursday.
“This is a historic moment for North Carolina and for the entire nation, and we will continue to fight against the NRA-backed efforts to disarm our citizens,” McCrories statement said.
“No one should ever be subjected to unnecessary violence in a gun show.
We need to stop this sale from happening.”
The Southern Auto Dealers Association (SADSA), a group representing the owners of auto parts, said they were disappointed in the move.
“We believe the actions taken by the two Republican Govs are inconsistent with our values, and the actions of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice do not reflect our position,” SADSA President and CEO Mike Epps said in a statement.
“The actions of Governor McCraries administration are inconsistent and unacceptable.
We urge the Attorney Generals office to investigate this matter and bring a fair and impartial investigation to the attention of the legislature.”
McCries office had not immediately responded to a request for comment.
The move by McCrities administration comes amid a series of gun control bills in the US.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that requires gun sales to be federally licensed.
“Gun manufacturers and dealers have been in this business for decades,” McCrone said in his statement.
The SADPA had previously sued the state to stop a planned Southern Auto sale, claiming it violated federal laws.
“It is clear that Governor McCrone has no regard for the sanctity of life or the sanctuaries of the Second Amendment,” Epps told CNN on Tuesday.
“That is why the SADAA is so disappointed with this action.
We will continue our work to stop these unnecessary, unnecessary and dangerous gun shows from happening in North Carolinians communities.”
In February, McCrides attorney general, Michael Smith, issued a letter to state officials, calling for an investigation into the legality of the Southern auto auction and said the sale could not take place.
“You have no legal authority to ban a private party from taking part in a public auction and the Attorney general has no legal or ethical authority to enforce that prohibition,” Smith wrote.
McCrone also took aim at Stein, calling him a “lone wolf” who “is no friend of law enforcement” and a “political opportunist” who has “bought votes in North Carolina.”
“I am disappointed that Governor Stein has chosen to take a position that is so extreme that it has no basis in reality, which is the very definition of partisanship,” McCraties statement said, adding that Stein is not a Republican, “nor is he affiliated with any party.”